A cook serves the free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, to children in Chapra district

A cook serves the free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, to children at Brahimpur village in Chapra district of the eastern Indian state of Bihar July 19, 2013. The midday meal scheme of giving school pupils a free lunch is the largest such programme in the world. It has been widely lauded as one of the most successful welfare measures in India, home to a quarter of the world’s hungry, because it also boosts school enrolments and helps children to continue studies. For millions of poor families, the lunch is the only full meal their children eat in a day. That encourages them to send them to school, and not keep them home to help with chores. For this reason, despite being poorly managed, the scheme draws a lot of support from non-governmental organisations, rights activists and the United Nations. Picture taken July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA – Tags: HEALTH FOOD EDUCATION SOCIETY) – RTX11THB

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